Belmont hosted its first World Culture Fest on March 22 in Neely Dining Hall in an effort to showcase the campus’ diversity.
The event was an opportunity for students and employees to demonstrate culture and heritage through dance, music, fashion and other art forms. Several student organizations had booths representing different world cultures for students to learn, ask questions, examine study abroad opportunities that would immerse them in the culture and participate in a cultural activity.
The Black Student Association, Rumi Club and International Business Society co-sponsored the festival in partnership with the Student Government Association and Student Activities Programming Board.
Among the performances were spoken word, the Argentine Tango, a Latin American dance medley, a New Zealand Spinning performance art, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. step performance as well as songs in Spanish, Japanese and Swahili. Booths and tables represented Southeast Asian, Irish, Caribbean, Persian, Japanese, Russian, African, Latin American, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures, and students served food and provided activities including origami, calligraphy and Henna tattoos.
The purpose of Culture Fest is to bring together students from all backgrounds to celebrate cultural art expressions from around the world. Some students and faculty were representing their own culture, while others were engaging in and representing a culture they were not familiar with prior to the event. Organizers hope the event will become an annual tradition that promotes Belmont’s diversity inclusively by allowing students to participate in and explore different cultures in ways they haven’t been able to before.
“The point was to engage our entire campus and bring out the diversity within,” said junior Farah Manjiyani, of Henderson, Tenn. , who worked with other students to organize the festival after a lecture in Dr. Amy Crook’s class mentioned world culture festivals at other high schools and universities. Crook served as the primary faculty sponsor for the event along with fellow College of Business Administration professors Marieta Velikova and Dennis Chen.